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Our Team

Learn more about the people who help keep the Philadelphia Fashion Incubator moving.

Our Team

Executive Director

Elissa Bloom is the Executive Director of the Philadelphia Fashion Incubator. She has been with the organization since 2011 and with the board, launched the successful initiative which is now used as an international model for fashion incubation.

With over 20 years of both corporate and entrepreneurial experience, Elissa brings a unique and fresh understanding to the world of fashion and business.  She has worked corporately for Bloomingdales and Anthropologie and has taught fashion entrepreneurship courses at Drexel University, Moore College of Art and Design, and Thomas Jefferson University.  She launched a successful accessories brand, Elissa Bloom New York, which she oversaw for ten years. While managing all aspects of her company including design, sourcing, manufacturing, marketing, sales and distribution, Elissa learned what it takes to run a successful fashion company. She has a strong understanding of both the creative and commercial side of business and is committed to sharing her experience with others to help them achieve success in the business world.

Elissa is a highly sought after international speaker on fashion incubation and the business of fashion traveling to Italy, Russia, the Baltics, Israel, Scotland and Morrocco.  In 2015 Elissa was invited by The White House to speak at the Global Entrepreneurship Summit in Kenya.

Elissa has been nominated as a 2019 “Connector of the Year” award with RAD Girls. In 2018 Elissa was awarded the Philadelphia Business Journal Woman of Distinction. In 2017 she was nominated as the Philadelphia Ambassador of Women’s Entrepreneurship Day, a global event empowering female entrepreneurship that is celebrated in 144 countries with the United Nations. Elissa organized and led Philadelphia’s first and second annual event honoring female entrepreneurs in the region. In 2016 she was honored with the Trailblazer Award by Philly Fashion Week.

Board of Directors

The Philadelphia Fashion Incubator (PFI) Board of Directors is comprised of ten members from the business, academic and fashion communities. The board is responsible for all PFI policies, fundraising development, budgets and programs.

  • Bridgett Battles, Director of Community Engagement and Supplier Diversity, Jefferson University

  • Conrad Booker, Founder, Conrad Booker, PFI Alumni

  • Earl Boyd, Director of Entrepreneur Development, Entrepreneur Works

  • Anne Millman, Retail Industry Veteran, PFGITF Secretary

  • Andrew Reid, Community and Economic Development Leader, Advocate and Educator

  • Erik Seel, Founder, FashInvest/Consultant

  • Michelle Shannon, Vice President, Marketing & Communications, Center City District, PFGITF Member

  • Mindy Solkin, Founder, BB Babes, The Fashion, Fitness, and Health Network for Baby Boomer Women

Advisory Committee

The Philadelphia Fashion Incubator (PFI) Advisory Committee is comprised of representatives from Philadelphia’s fashion and business sectors, including designers, retailers, editors, academic representatives and business leaders. The committee is responsible for reviewing and selecting the Designer-In-Residence (DIR), events along with teaching workshops on their areas expertise and being mentors.


  • Nicole Cashman, Owner, Cashman and Associates

  • Rakia Reynolds, Owner, Skai Blue Media

  • Kristin Detterline, Editor-in-Chief, Philadelphia Style Magazine

  • Nicole Kane, Fashion Consultant, Urban Outfitters

  • Elina Kazan, Retail Consultant

  • Alisa Frederico, Owner, Dressing Jane

  • Mary Dougherty, Owner, Nicole Miller Boutiques

  • Joan Shepp, Owner, Joan Shepp

  • Barbara Kahn, Director of The Jay H. Baker Retailing Center, Wharton

  • Danny Noble, Fashion Entrepreneur

  • Karen Randal, Consultant

  • Ann Gitter, Owner, The Knit Wit

  • Elena Brennan, Owner, Bus Stop Boutique

  • Sharon Phillips Waxman, Owner, SPW Productions

  • Tony Pipitone, Center City District

  • Annina King, Designer, Director of PFI Alumni Committee

  • Caren Yeamans, In House Counsel, Fanatics

  • Sarah Rodowicz, Fashion Group Intl.

  • Cathy Coho, Textile Conservator

  • Rachel Ford, Owner, MADE Studios

  • Lori Shuster, Owner, Throw Like a Woman Consulting

  • Debbie Ruth and Annette Tymoski, Owners, Intrigue Fine Apparel

  • Stephanie Boyd, VP Sales and Marketing, PA Convention Center

  • Marisa Guaglione, District Manager, Clarins

  • Kate Marlys, Owner, Philly PR Girl

  • Angel Edmunds, Owner Showroom 77

  • Leigh King, Associate Director of Special Projects & Experiences, CFDA